A Guide On How To Deal With Narcissist Silent Treatment Guide📕

Last updated by Katie M.

If you've ever been involved with a narcissist, you'll know exactly how dangerous and vindictive they can be. Now, they won't use physical violence to break their victims down, although the tactics they use are just as painful and debilitating. These slippery characters operate under the shadow of darkness and use subtle mind games and tactics in order to exert a maximum amount of control and manipulation over their prey. You have no doubt already guessed it, but in case you haven't yet, the silent treatment is a narcissist's go-to tactic when it comes to punishing their victims and taking control of them. Find out here why these abusers use this method and how to deal with it.

A Guide On How To Deal With Narcissist Silent Treatment Guide📕

The cold shoulder may seem pretty harmless, but it is in fact quite the opposite! In relationships, it is actually regarded as one of the most damaging types of punishment that exist. As social creatures, we need communication to express ourselves and open our hearts, but this simply isn't possible with a narcissist. With them, disagreements aren't followed by a period of cooling off and then an apology. No, instead they are one-sided and soon turn into bitter cold wars, with them intent on punishing their victims and teaching them an albeit non-verbal lesson, hence the silent treatment 😱. However, much like people who ghost, when they feel like their victims have learned their so-called lesson, they'll resume all communication as a way of metaphorically rewarding them. After all, they love toying with emotions and feelings.

How do you outsmart a narcissist silent treatment - 3 Tips

📖 When you are in a relationship with a narcissistic manipulator, everything revolves around them, even when they start to ignore you. It's confusing and exhausting. But, one day, you decide enough is enough, and when you do, here are the steps to follow to responding to the narcissistic silent treatment.

Tip 1 to outsmarting the narcissist silent treatment) Stop fixating 👫;

It's nearly impossible to try to have a relationship with a narcissist. You've spent a lot of time analyzing their behavior and character to understand the constant curveballs they threw at you. After leaving your abusive relationship, this usual pattern of analysis will continue until you force it to stop. Every time you think about what's wrong with your ex, remind yourself that you are no longer involved with that person and gently encourage your mind to think about something else. Do it repeatedly. Most experts claim it takes three months to change a habit.

Tip 2) Find ways to deal with your anxiety 🧘;

Your narcissist likely kept you on edge for months or years, and your nervous system is probably still functioning in that way. Leaving can also fuel new stresses or fears, exacerbating your anxiety. On top of all that, the intimacy is gone, and you no longer have the dopamine and oxytocin that helped keep your head above water. Breathe slowly and deeply, do yoga, dance, swim, and engage in other types of exercises. Do something every day, whenever you need it.

Tip 3) Stay busy 🚴;

With narcissists, a relationship is always about power. They have it; you don't. You struggle to try to normalize everything, but you never succeed because they want you to keep struggling so they can pull your chain whenever they feel like it. It sounds really unpleasant, and it was, but it filled the time. Now that no one is doing that, there's a great void in your days. Life just isn't as exciting anymore. To cope with this, keep trying new interests and activities, and make an effort to stay in touch with your friends as much as possible. When you stay at home, meditate to calm your mind. Know that you don't always need to seek fulfillment outside; you can find it within yourself.

💡FAQ 💡 How long will a narcissist punish you with silent treatment?

How long will a narcissist punish you with silent treatment? - In the short term, narcissists will strut around and make you regret losing them. Then, when you're starved for love, affection and good sex, they’ll promise everything you've ever wanted from them. This period will last for up to a month, and then generally they believe that their victims will come crawling back to them. However, all narcissists are different and some of them may keep the silent treatment up for way longer than a month, whereas others might come crawling back quicker.

6 Reasons why narcissists love dishing out the silent treatments 🤯

Here's why it's so powerful...

1) It's a form of emotional abuse

By going stone-cold silent on their victims, narcissists retain the upper hand in the relationship. In this particular case, they'll use the lack of communication as a form of punishment and therefore make their already downtrodden victims feel even more powerless, insignificant, and invisible. The truth is, when we are trapped in a cycle of vicious mental abuse, we often develop strong feelings for the perpetrators of our mental demise. Following this logic, victims who are typically isolated from their family members, therefore, feel rewarded and appreciated when they receive even the slightest bit of attention from their tormentors, which explains why cutting it off is so deeply cruel.

>>> Discover the dangerous mind games all narcissists play

2) It causes further trauma and stress

Verbal communication is the pillar of any relationship, so when a narcissist abuser decides to stop talking to their partner or in this case victim, they consciously choose to inflict pain and confusion on them. A sudden halt in communication may not seem like aggressive behavior, but it really is just that! Toxic romantic relationships are like prisons in the sense that they break people down and cut them off from the outside world, meaning their bubble of comfort becomes very reduced. Now, in this case, when something changes within a relationship, such as communication being cut off, it's only natural to feel a flood of emotions including stress, anger, sadness, and frustration.

3) It worsens self-esteem issues

In any relationship, when one partner decides to stop talking, the other partner will naturally feel confused and also feel frustrated when no explanation as to why has been offered. Now, in the case of an abusive relationship with a grade A gaslighter, the innocent party will be so cut off from their old life that they'll have no one to confide in, meaning their brain will go into complete overdrive and result in them blaming themselves for this radical change. They may even end up begging or pleading with their abuser for clarification, whilst apologizing for hurting their feelings and offending them. Here, the roles will clearly be switched...

4) It makes victims even more determined to please

Narcissist silent treatment is a clear form of manipulation, and many psychologists believe that it is just as dangerous and debilitating as gaslighting techniques. They say that silence speaks volumes, and they're certainly not wrong! This tactic allows ill-intentioned abusers to remain in the driving seat, whilst controlling the conversation. Plus, this amount of passive aggression pushes people to question everything, when they have in fact done absolutely nothing wrong.

5) It's a form of provocation

Folks with a narcissistic personality disorder are fantastic at analyzing people's shortcomings and weaknesses, which means they know exactly what buttons to push in order to provoke a reaction from someone. Now, when these slippery snakes want to intensify their hold over their prey, they'll do everything possible to push them to the edge and subsequently explode with rage and anger. Then, once they have obtained the explosive reaction they were looking for, they will begin to guilt-trip their victim and pretend that they feel really hurt by their behavior and trust me, they are great actors... This is a classic mind game that manipulators play to make their victims feel guilty for their outbursts. Plus, in most cases, it makes them even more determined to please their abuser, meaning it only reinforces the cycle of abuse.

6) It has negative physical effects too

Not only does silent treatment make you feel invisible, but it can also make you feel physically unwell too. As a matter of fact, feeling ignored triggers a reaction in the brain that then convinces people that they are physically hurt. Who'd have thought that silence could have such a severe negative effect on both our mental and physical state? Furthermore, it can provoke migraines, digestive issues, as well as insomnia which can last even after the period of abuse, is over.

💡FAQ💡 How to get a narcissist to stop ignoring you?

Getting the attention of a narcissistic person can be a challenge, as they often have a strong focus on themselves and can be unreceptive to the needs of others. However, here are some strategies that may be effective:

  • 1) Show admiration: Narcissistic people often appreciate compliments and positive attention. Try complimenting them on their achievements or qualities.

  • 2) Highlight their interests: Identify what interests the narcissistic person and engage in conversations about these topics. Show interest in their passions and opinions.

  • 3) Be diplomatic: Avoid direct confrontation or open criticism. Use a diplomatic and constructive approach in your interactions.

  • 4) Offer them challenges: Narcissists appreciate challenges and opportunities to show off. Offer them intellectual or professional challenges that might interest them.

  • 5) Be assertive: Assert yourself when necessary, but remain respectful. Narcissists often respect people who are self-confident and don't let themselves be pushed around.

What happens when you give the narcissist silent treatment? 💪

Let's delve into what happens when you turn the tables on your abuser, and use their terrible tactics against them. When you decide to give the narcissist silent treatment they will be totally thrown by it at the beginning, however, they will soon revert to their evil ways once the reality sets in. Their surprise will only last so long and the effect of it will certainly wear off faster than you anticipated, meaning keeping the upper hand will be tough. 

When these toxic abusers realize that you have frozen them out, they may make an intense effort to win you back by apologizing to you and making grand gestures. However, when you begin to show them some real resilience, they will decide to become even nastier and even more vindictive. Here, they will become even more manipulative, and they certainly won’t hesitate to make up rumors about you. Showing your abuser any form of resistance is akin to waving a huge red rag at an angry bull... In short, they’ll do whatever it takes to coax a reaction from you, in an attempt to bring the silence to an end.

Editor's opinion - There is light at the end of the tunnel

Once you have learned to recognize that you are a victim of abuse, a world of possibilities will present itself to you. Acknowledging what you have been through is the first and the most important step when it comes to healing. It's also essential to keep in mind that the journey to get better will be easier with the help of your family and friends. The bottom line is that you are an innocent party here, and didn't deserve any of this terrible pain.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!


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Article presented by Katie M.

🌻 Discover the world through my eyes.

I'm currently married to a narcissist. We've been married for 6 years now and I'm getting to a point in my life where I want out. I'm trying to figure out a way out but I need to get things in order in my life first. I hate that my first marriage has to be like this and it often makes me sad. I try to still keep my confidence and myself sane for me and my son. He does not want to see me succeed and is very jealous of me. It hurts me that he is constantly wanting to destroy me. I'm just wishing for an out soon. Narcissistic people are the worst and if I had a chance to turn back the time I would have never gotten married or let alone date him.

Leslie 10 months ago

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How to detect a narcissist?

How to detect a narcissist?

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." 

- Oscar Wilde